2020 brought some hardels to deal-making. Early on, the pandemic made the notion of corporate takeovers seem, for a few months, like something from a lost era. But then came a burst of activity like few had ever seen before, even as the health crisis raged. In 2020, SPACs become highly important in mergers and acquisitions.
Nearly 45,000 deals worth $3.4 trillion had been announced this year, down 8 percent by number and 7 percent by value from the same point a year ago, according to Refinitiv.
Intuit – Credit Karma
Fintech giant, Intuit (INTU) announced that it would be acquiring Credit Karma for approximately $7.1 billion, making it Intuit’s largest acquisition ever. Intuit is a global financial platform company with TurboTax, QuickBooks, and Mint as its flagship products.
Grubhub – Just Eat Takeaway
In June, Just Eat Takeaway entered into an agreement to acquire Grubhub (GRUB) for $7.3 billion. The move marks Just Eat Takeaway’s foray into online food delivery in the U.S. with the two companies together creating the world’s largest online food delivery company outside of China. Grubhub is a leading online and mobile food-ordering and delivery marketplace in the U.S., with nearly 300,000 restaurants across 4,000 U.S. cities.
Uber – Postmates
In July, Uber (UBER) entered into $2.65 billion deal to acquire Postmates. This comes after Uber’s $6.5 billion bid for Grubhub fell through. Postmates is complementary to Uber Eats, with differentiated geographic focus areas and customer demographics.
Visa – Plaid
Visa (V) announced the decision of Plaid’s acquisition for $5.3 billion in January 2020. Connectivity between financial institutions and developers has become increasingly important with the growing demand to facilitate consumers’ ability to use fintech applications.
Morgan Stanley – E*TRADE
The acquisition announcement of E*TRADE (ETFC) for approximately $13 billion by Morgan Stanley (MS) in February 2020 has been one of the biggest acquisitions of 2020. The decision is expected to boost Morgan Stanley’s position across all channels and segments in the wealth management business.
Overall activity in the M&A space remained subdued amid the pandemic. During 1H 2020, 24,698 deals were announced globally, marking a 15.1% decline from 1H 2019. The drop is sharper in terms of deal value, which witnessed a fall by 44.7% from $1.85 trillion in 1H 2019 to $1.02 trillion in 1H 2020, according to a report by GlobalData.